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As the title says. I am going to have to do a major overhaul on my 95 tbird this summer if i want to keep driving it (which i do). It has ~208,xxx miles and the transmission is going out. (slipping out of reverse, taking a long time to get into gear after stopping, etc.) I would like to put an Explorer engine and a newer tranny in. the problem is I don't have a clue what I am doing. I know very little about cars. I have replaced most of my front suspension and my fuel pump by myself, and that is about as far as I have gotten on my own. sorry for the length. just thought i would check for volunteers. thanks, besides, what's more fun than spending someone else's money?

Seth
 

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Most importantly, how is the rust? If you don't mind, I'd like to see pictures of that before I suggest extensive funparts ;) If its not too bad, then we'll talk about your goals.
 

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definitely.... if your rockers are rusted (like mine) dont put your effort into this car. get it driveable, and start saving for a new one. or buy parts that can be swapped over if you get a new one. (such as exhaust, intake, gears, springs etc.)
 

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definitely.... if your rockers are rusted (like mine) dont put your effort into this car. get it driveable, and start saving for a new one. or buy parts that can be swapped over if you get a new one. (such as exhaust, intake, gears, springs etc.)
I agree completely. I wouldn't swap springs, but thats just me... I hate using used parts like that.

We need a budget!!
 

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I still think you should get a real bad cold *cough* *cough* the weekend of the fix it meet. ;)
 

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Sweet :p No rust monster for you... (Lucky bastard)

Here's what I'd get for different budgets. Mind you Im a drivetrain guy, so I'm not going to suggest you buy springs and shocks since I don't fully understand them.

$500
- Thunderbird Sport 16s, and 255/55/16s
- Transmission cooler with solid lines

With $2000
- Thunderbird Sport 16s, and 255/55/16s
- Transmission cooler
- Gears (3.73 if you don't plan on revving to 6k)
- Driveshaft (The 6061 T6 will be balanced plety well unless you're going over 125 with 4.10s)

With $3500
- FULLY built J-modded transmission
- 3500-3800 stall 9.5" Dirtydog converter
- Trans cooler
- Tune

$3500 option 2 (boo!!)
- Trans cooler with solid lines
- Thunderbird Sport 16s, and 255/55/16s
- $1500 exploder PI motor
- Tune
- Exhaust
- Fuel pump
- 02GT Maf if you can afford it

$5000
- FULLY built J-modded transmission
- 3500-3800 stall 9.5" Dirtydog converter
- Trans cooler
- Tune
- Gears (3.73 if you don't plan on revving to 6k)
- Driveshaft (The 6061 T6 will be balanced plety well unless you're going over 125 with 4.10s)

There are cars out there with PI Intakes, gears and stall that run mid 14s. That's with the stock 95 motor too. It all depends on your end goal with the car. If you plan to keep the car for a long time, go for drivetrain mods... That way you have the transmission beefed up to last longer, and have time to save for a real motor. I know I'll have people biting my ass for this, but the drivetrain is what makes the car fast (in a straight line), not the engine. The engine's job is only to carry its torque to as high of RPM as possible before fading out.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Well,
as far as funds go. i for sure am getting 2500 tax return. Beyond that is negotiable. i don't want to spend my whole savings for sure. I Know I need a new transmission. I have already emailed Darrin to find out prices from him. and as i stated before, my engine has 208,xxxish and burns alot of oil, so i think i am due for another one of those. i'm not opposed to halfway rebuilding the one i have if it is ridiculously cheaper. just seeing what my options are and who would be willing to help or teach me how to do it.
BTW: I also already did the PBR upgrade.

Seth
 

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i say get you a decent pi motor and trans... that will give you a pretty good start. no burning oil, and a good trans.... or swap in a 32v dohc motor. make sure your suspension is safe (balljoints and such) and start modding from there! if you have spare change. get a new rearend and good gears, and an aluminum D/S.... you should be good. depending on how much you spend on teh motor/trans combo.
 

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How much oil is your car burning? If its NOT burning at least 1 qt / 3000 miles, I would worry ;) What trasmission problems are you having?
 

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If it'll save you money, I've got an extra transmission in good shape. If you decide you want it, we can get it pulled while everyone is here.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
it burns more oil than that for sure. i am currently running 20w50. i'm not losing quite as much now...... not sure how much i am burining.. i don't notice any smoke except startup and harder accelerations.... but i went to my oil change place that does free topoffs and after about 1500 miles, which included a 6-700 mile road trip they had to put 4 quarts in.. (i know.. not good).

tranny problems... very slow to shift into gear after a stop, it seems to stay in neutral, or just out of gear. if i rev the engine ever so slightly it sometimes will go into gear quicker.
...slips out of reverse, especially if backing up a hill or over bump. any time there is added stress. also when i am backing up a hill if i let off the gas it will slip out of gear. then i have to put it back in drive and then back into rev.

traveler.. how many miles on the transmission? what do you want for it? that may be a cheaper alternative.. but then again, it will probably just be putting off the inevitable. i will give it some thought though.

also do you all have experience with the aluminum pi swap?
 

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DEFINATELY get Michael's transmission, and maybee try and snag a marauder converter or something. Plumb in a GOOD cooler too please.

After that, talk to someone like JustinH about getting a used PI motor for around $1000. An aluminum motor would be best for you (aside from the weight) because you can use your existing front cover.

I know nothing of the car other than what you're telling me, but it sounds like your valve stem seals are waxed. Either that, or the oil is getting pushed up into your intake (still just as bad.)

You need a transmission though. If you just buy a PI motor, it'll probably overpower the transmission and kill it, leaving your car un-driveable. Don't bother with a headswap either. Go straight for a full PI motor since you have a 95.
 

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The tranny in the LE has app. 80,000 miles on it. It currently has a J-Modded valve body, however I'd planned on putting that valve body in the GT (I know its not really a GT, but it helps distinguish between the two cars).

The one in the GT shifts great, has about 80,000 on it, and I was told by the seller that it was overhauled in the past year. I could search all the papers that came with the car and see if there is any documentation on it. I'll sell either one I guess. I'd really like to sell the one in the GT and put the one from the LE in it. Its already got the J-Mod and I never had any problems with it. Of course I've not had any problems with the GT tranny either.

And of course, I've volunteered the services of the guys at the fix-it-meet to help me drop the tranny without even asking them. :D If I sell the one in the GT, we can just put the tranny from the LE into the GT without having to take the valve body apart. (And it'd make it easier to put that Mark VIII TC in as well. ;) ) Are you guys willing to give it a shot? I'd sell the GT tranny for 300 and the LE tranny for 400. (With the J-Mod that I really hate to give up)
 
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